Tag Archives: dim sum

Another Look: Odds & Ends

Welcome to a new installment of Another Look!  This post is designed to share a handful of goodies from my archive while I’m recovering from my surgeries.  I hope you enjoy these links, whether you’re seeing them for the first time or have seen them once before.  Today’s category is Odds & Ends!  Just click on the name of the post to link over…

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A Flower for Neva Lenora
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Letting My Inner Child Out to Play: Roller Skating
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Mad for Movies!
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Santa Ana Artists Village
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Letting My Inner Child Out to Play: The County Fair
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Dim Sum – Yum!
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What are some of your favorite “Inner Child” activities? Please comment and share.

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in ethnic food, family, food, life in general, movies, photography | Also tagged , , , Leave a comment

Dim Sum – Yum!

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Have you ever had dim sum?  I’m definitely a fan.  Not only is the food delicious, the overall dining experience is, too!  For those who are unfamiliar with dim sum, and who didn’t read my Chinatown post from last spring, the folks at Wikipedia tell us that dim sum is a Cantonese term for a type of Chinese dish that involves small individual portions of food, usually served in a steamer basket or on a small plate.  Going for dim sum is usually known in Cantonese as going to “drink tea”.  If you’ve had tapas it’s kind of like that, but with Chinese food.  Dim sum is much more fun though, particularly if you visit a restaurant that serves the food out of rolling carts like the one in the photo above.

PICTURE THIS: You’re sitting at your table, hot tea already steaming in a white, handle-less cup.  Your table is soon visited by one of several servers, and the server is wheeling a cart that contains delectable dishes.  One by one the cart’s dishes are offered to you.  If something catches your eye you nod, and the plate or metal basket is placed on the table.  Your dining “ticket” is stamped, indicating what you’ve selected so your bill is easily totaled at the end.  If you’re not interested, a polite no suffices.

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You may not know the name of what you’ve selected, or exactly what’s in it, but you don’t care.  You just know that it looks and smells great.  Whether you eat with chopsticks or a fork, you dig in – enjoying both the food and the lively atmosphere in the room.  When the next cart rolls by the selection process is repeated.  You wash all the tasty food down with hot tea, and if you’re wise you’ll end the meal with something from the dessert cart – maybe some little tarts or mango jello.  YUM.

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HELPFUL HINT: Because a dim sum meal is composed of little plates/servings, and because you’ll probably want to try several of the tempting dishes, it’s best to dine with at least one or two other people.  That way you’re able to order a wider variety of dishes and taste more things before getting full and throwing in the towel, so to speak.  That said, I’ve had several dim sum lunches while dining solo.  You can always take home leftovers if your eyes end up being bigger than your stomach!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at a recent dim sum lunch hubby and I enjoyed.  We dined at Capital Seafood in Irvine, CA and I definitely recommend it.  Please let me know if you have any questions, dear readers, and please let me know if you opt to eat some dim sum yourself!

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in ethnic food, life in general, restaurants | Also tagged 8 Comments

Chinatown

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Travel is one of my greatest passions – I love going places!  Whether it’s a trip to a nearby city, another state, or a trip to another country, I relish the new sights, experiences, and cuisines that often await me.  Unfortunately, I’m not able to travel as often as I like and have to be creative in order to placate my raging wanderlust.

As previously shared here on my blog, I believe that going to places like Little India or an ethnic market can add some foreign flavor to your life without having to pack – provided those aren’t your usual stomping grounds, that is!

Long before my passport was stamped in Ireland and Peru, I got a little taste of Chinese culture by visiting Chinatown.  I hope to make it to China some day, and know it will be quite different than my experiences in the Chinatowns of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.  That said, I appreciate the sneak peeks I’ve had into how it might be.

Dragons Soaring in the Shadows of Skyscrapers

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I live about an hour away from downtown Los Angeles, though actual drive time depends on traffic.  L.A.’s Chinatown is startlingly close to the skyscrapers of downtown, which makes for an interesting contrast.  The Los Angeles version of Chinatown is where I’ve visited the most – I first went about nine years ago on a buying trip for my then-employer.  I was trying to find joss paper, which would be sold as an art supply and I had a wonderful time making my way in and out of the shops.

I feasted on the sights: herbs galore, stored in lovely glass jars.  Dried, fresh, and live seafood.  Red and gold, parasols, paper lanterns, and bamboo plants.

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The smells were enticing.  The musk of incense burning in some of the stores, cooking food, the tang of fresh herbs in the small markets, and the light, sweet aroma wafting out of the bakeries.

Experiencing the bustle of the shops, hearing the rapidly-spoken Cantonese and Mandarin languages, and towering above many of the other patrons in the stores were all interesting sensations.  I was still in my home state, but I was a bit out of my comfort zone.  Hurray!

Lunch, anyone?

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I also reveled in a fantastic lunchtime-experience: DIM SUM!  Per Wikipedia, dim sum is a Cantonese term for a type of Chinese dish that involves small individual portions of food, usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. Going for dim sum is usually known in Cantonese as going to “drink tea”.

Seated in a noisy dining room, I drank tea and watched the parade of women with food carts as they passed my table.  Not always sure just what I was ordering, I smiled, pointed and enjoyed the culinary adventure.  Round, metal containers of food found a home on my table – their contents then landed in my tummy.  I instantly fell in love with dim sum – the experience and the food are both delicious. Some of my favorite dim sum selections include Fried Shrimp Balls, Steamed BBQ Pork Buns, and Vegetable Dumplings.  For dessert?  Baked egg custards. Yum!

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It’s time for another trip to Chinatown …

I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos, and a small glimpse into my trips to Chinatown.  I haven’t been to Chinatown in a while – it’s been at least a year – and after reflecting on my experiences there, seeing photos, and talking about the yummy dim sum, I realize it’s time to head back.  If you’re a Southern California reader, and are interested in going on a field trip to Chinatown some Saturday afternoon, please send me a message via my website’s contact page.  It would be great to gather a group and take in the sights – and some great food – together…

Warm regards,
Melody

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Posted in art, ethnic food, ethnic markets, life in general, photography, restaurants | Also tagged , 6 Comments